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If forced to choose an upcoming release that I’m most excited for (because on the Internet we’re binary and drastic), Tad Williams’ upcoming trilogy, The Last King of Osten Ard, would likely be the answer. Yeah, over Ancillary Sword or The Thorn of Emberlain or The Doors of Stone. Williams’ original Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy means so much to me that a return to that realm comes with my highest levels of excitement and expectation. No matter what happens, I’ll be jumping in with both feet and it will be an experience worth savouring (as with all of Williams’ novels.)

So, naturally, I troll the Internet looking for updates and speculation about The Last King of Osten Ard, and Williams recently gave fans a peek at his progress on the series. Williams recently reported to his message board that work on the novel had slowed down due to a family emergency and “work pressure,” but that work is now continuing on the first volume of the trilogy, The Witchwood Crown. “I’m only at about page 400 of the book,” he said. “But I’m back into a stretch where I can work on it full-time again.”

Returning to the beloved world of Osten Ard is exciting for long-time fans of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, but Williams believes the new series will be just as enjoyable for entrenched fans and newcomers alike. “I believe I can now write a story worthy of those much-loved settings and characters,” he said in the series FAQ, “one that people who haven’t read the originals can enjoy, but which will of course mean more to those who know the original work. More than that, I feel I can do something that will stand up to the best books in our field. I have very high hopes. I’m excited by the challenge. And I’ll do my absolute best to make all the kind responses I’ve already had justified.”

Further updates will no doubt emerge when Williams does an AMA (Ask Me Anything) with Reddit’s /r/fantasy forum on September 18th. So, if you have anything you want to pick his brain about, mysteries of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, if he realizes that The War of the Flowers is his secret best work, or what it’s like to have been a direct influence on the biggest fantasy series of the decade (Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire), now’s your chance!

The Witchwood Crown is still on track for a 2015 release from DAW Books. If you’re looking to join in the fun, now would be a perfect time to discover Tad Williams’ seminal Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy, beginning with The Dragonbone Chair.

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“The thing is,” I pointed out, “It’s all work. This is work.”

“The thing is,” I pointed out reasonably, “I’m working even when my fingers aren’t physically pressing the keys.” I pointed helpfully at my head, trying to indicate the furious labor going on inside. “Writing is not a linear process. It’s all work. This is work.”

My argument might have been more compelling if I hadn’t been standing in my boxer shorts at 2 o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon drinking an IPA and watching the local porcupine trying to snag that last apple without falling out of the tree.

“You may be working,” Jo replied, “but I want to punch you really hard in the neck.”

It seemed like an uncharitable thing to say to a man who was hard at work writing his second novel. It seemed doubly uncharitable given that Jo is my wife, and that our division of labor – the very division that led me to be standing on the porch in my boxers in the first place – was something we had hammered out together, something we had both happily embraced.

I pointed this out. The things she said next were even less charitable. Read More »

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Via Tor.com, the 2014 winners of the British Fantasy Award:

Best fantasy novel (the Robert Holdstock Award):

  • Winner: A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar (Small Beer Press)
  • Between Two Thorns, Emma Newman (Angry Robot)
  • Blood and Feathers: Rebellion, Lou Morgan (Solaris)
  • The Glass Republic, Tom Pollock (Jo Fletcher Books)
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman (Headline)
     
Buy A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar

Buy A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar

Best horror novel (the August Derleth Award):

  • Winner: The Shining Girls, Lauren Beukes (HarperCollins)
  • House of Small Shadows, Adam Nevill (Pan)
  • Mayhem, Sarah Pinborough (Jo Fletcher Books)
  • NOS4R2, Joe Hill (Gollancz)
  • Path of Needles, Alison Littlewood (Jo Fletcher Books)
  • The Year of the Ladybird, Graham Joyce (Gollancz)

Read More »

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Earlier this year, Grim Oak Press announced Neverland’s Shadow, edited by Shawn Speakman and Roger Bellini, a follow-up to the publishers successful first anthology, Unfettered. “All of the stories are told from the point of view of the villain/antagonist,” said Publisher Shawn Speakman of the new anthology. “I’ve always felt like the villain doesn’t get enough time on the page from his/her/its point of view. Well, now we will have an entire book and I simply can’t wait to bring it to you!”

And now, Neverland’s Shadow has a new name: Unveiled.

(Oh the deliciousness of the pun I was able to use in the title of this post.)

“After asking for suggestions from the internet(s),” Speakman says on the Grim Oak Press website, “more than 1300 titles were sent into the website. I culled them down to 10 favorites. Editor Roger Bellini did the same from those 1300.”

“I am tired of heroes winning and writing history the way they choose,” Speakman said. “The stories within Unveiled are told from the point of view of villains and, finally, their stories will be “unveiled” for all to read. No matter what the heroes think!”

“I am tired of heroes winning and writing history the way they choose,” Speakman said.

Honestly, I’m not crazy about the new name. Neverland’s Shadow was punchy and interesting, though it’s difficult to separate the connection to Peter Pan’s youthful island. Unveiled is thematically on point, and pairs nicely with Unfettered, but I can’t help but feel like it loses a bit of the impact, a bit of the mystery. Also, a theatre background just puts images of raising curtains in my head. Because, you know, everyone has the same cognitive patterns and connections as this blogger, right? Read More »

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Via the official Orbit Books blog, we are now privy to the gorgeous cover art and a synopsis for N.K. Jemisin’s upcoming sequel novella to her popular Inheritance trilogy. The Awakened Kingdom tells the tale of the first godling born to the world of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms in thousands of years, and “Shill’s got big shoes to fill.”

As the first new godling born in thousands of years — and the heir presumptive to Sieh the Trickster — Shill’s got big shoes to fill. She’s well on her way when she defies her parents and sneaks off to the mortal realm, which is no place for an impressionable young god. In short order she steals a demon’s grandchild, gets herself embroiled in a secret underground magical dance competition, and offends her oldest and most powerful sibling.But for Eino, the young Darren man whom Shill has befriended, the god-child’s silly games are serious business. Trapped in an arranged marriage and prohibited from pursuing his dreams, he has had enough. He will choose his own fate, even if he must betray a friend in the process — and Shill might just have to grow up faster than she thinks.

If Jemisin’s other work is anything to go by (and it is!), readers have a lot to look forward to when The Awakened Kingdom releases later this year.

The Awakened Kingdom is a novella that takes place after the conclusion of The Kingdom of Gods, the concluding volume of Jemisin’s Inheritance trilogy. It will be included in all print and eBook editions of the Inheritance trilogy omnibus that is set for release on December 9th, 2014.